- Code EMSC3025
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Earth and Marine Science
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Environmental Studies, Engineering
Some activities that form part of this course can be taken remotely or on-campus in Sem 2 2020. Check timetable for details. Group limits may apply.
This course is of interest to students in science, environment, engineering, law and other disciplines because of the importance of groundwater as a resource and to our environment. The course will include the study of hydrologic balance, hydraulic properties of rocks and regolith, the theory and practice of groundwater flow in porous and fractured media, and the geochemistry of groundwater. Emphasis will be on the quantification of groundwater flow (distribution, velocity and flux of groundwater), its impact on surface water quality and the processes that affect groundwater geochemistry. There will be example applications for water resources, environmental impact, industrial/commercial development, mining and mineral exploration.
Laboratory: The practical component will include interpreting groundwater physical and chemical data, mapping groundwater flow, calculating the rates and volumes of groundwater flow, measurement and interpretation of groundwater geochemistry.
One or more field trips to local sites in the ACT and NSW. There will be an independent project requiring independent study, a short seminar presentation and a written report.
Honours Pathway Option
Additional readings of greater conceptual difficulty requiring an advanced scientific understanding will be made available for students enrolled in the Honours pathway option (HPO). 20 per cent of the marks available on the exam will be answers to alternate questions for HPO students. Integration of this material in the independent project will be expected.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- make qualitative and quantitative predictions of where, how fast and how much water will move in soils, sediments, regolith and rocks at or near the surface of the Earth
- discuss some of the geochemical, physical and biological controls on how groundwater composition changes during various physical and geochemical processes such as evaporation, water-rock interaction and fluid mixing
- discuss some of aspects of groundwater in different geological environments and the present day problems related to Australian water resources e.g., salinity, groundwater quality, groundwater-surface water interaction
- critically evaluate technical reports and journal articles
- synthesise key concepts in groundwater hydrology and/or hydrogeochemistry to understand water resources
There will be two field trips in the local area, one single-day trip to Bungendore and surrounds, and another overnight trip to the Snowy Mountains region. There may be a small cost for these trips (2019 cost was approximately $160).
- Workshop Activities (20) [LO 1,2,3]
- Field Trip Reports (30) [LO 1,2,3]
- Research Project (15) [LO 2,3,4,5]
- Theory Examination (35) [LO 1,2,3]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 1 x 1 hour lecture, 1 x 2 hour practical and 1 x 2 hour tutorial per week.
- Field trips (see other information).
- Approximately 54 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures and other assessment tasks.
Current statement: A maximum of 13 hours of lecture, 52 hours of workshop (blended tutorial and practical) and 3 field days; plus up to 65 hours of independent study.
Students in this course must typically participate in approximately 3 days of field trips, which may include an overnight stay. This requires students to:
- Travel to the field location and stay in field accommodation such as basic cabins or dorm rooms.
- Safely traverse short distances (approximately 10-500m) over uneven ground.
Students who are unable to meet these requirements may be able to partially participate in the trip or negotiate alternative participation and assessment requirements with the course convenor. Please see the trip information page for more information.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Fitts, Charles (2013) Groundwater Science, 2nd Edition. Elsevier Academic Press
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.